Archive for June, 2010

A Changing Demographic?

Posted 28 Jun 2010 — by nick
Category Blogs, GCM, Illini Life, Ministry, News

I scrolled across this article in my google reader this morning, admittedly I was behind on several of the key blogs I subscribe to. This post dates earlier this month from the ever insightful Chuck Bomar of College Ministry Thoughts.

What I find fascinating is how shocking these stats were to me. Maybe it’s the proximity to a major land grant university, complete with 40,000 students.

USA Today reports that nearly half of students at a four-year degree school don’t complete their degree within 6 years. Which translates to high drop our rates. And nearly half of college students attend a 2 year degree school such as a community college.

This got me thinking. I trust USA Today’s stats. The trends I’ve seen on campus are more students taking summer school classes at a community college where it’s cheaper, a higher pressure for students to maintain a part-time job while in school to offset the expense, more pressure for high paying internships in the summers. I’m sure the list goes on.

This demographic of college-aged students aren’t any different from you and I and our families. The economic downturn of the past few years has a lot of folks scared and we’ve tightened our belts in a lot of ways. I’m wondering how much of these changing stats are in reaction to such things.

Or maybe simply with the prevalence of online college programs and night school, our population of college students boomed overnight. Either way, I’m passionate about reaching college-aged people regardless of where they go to school (University of Illinois or otherwise).

I and Love and You

Posted 22 Jun 2010 — by nick
Category music, Poetry, Social Justice, Spirituality, Videos

Changing mood, aiding worship, motivating – the power of music. For as long as I can remember music has been an integral part of my life. From the days of grade school freedom listening to The New Kids On The Block or the happiness and hope of the country Christmas music of my family and childhood to the depression struggles in college with Damien Rice and Jeff Tweedy singing my sorrows. There also was the teen-angst phase of loud punk rock. These days I find myself listening to a lot of creative lyrics and unique musical arrangements; the likes of The Avett Brothers, Derek Webb, Josh Ritter, Spoon and of course Sufjan Stevens streaming past my ears.

Some have said, and I tend to agree, musicians are the prophets of our times. They have the power to bring up social issues, draw our hearts and attention to injustice and call for a higher way to live.

Lately the song “I and Love and You” by The Avett Brothers moves me to think and reflect. The story I hear is one of a man looking back at his life, how easy it was to fight and be harsh with his words and how overtime it wore him down. Left chasing after empty things and seeking fulfillment in nightlife, he comes to the realization that Love has been what he’s after, yet the simple three words, the most powerful words we can speak are hard to say – I and Love and You.

The whole album is beautiful, I highly recommend it.

Warrior Dash

Posted 20 Jun 2010 — by nick
Category Creation, Friends, Fun, GCM, Illini Life, Photos, Running

This weekend Amy and I met up for our good friend Alan (also a GCM missionary that we work with at U of I) and ran in the Warrior Dash, it was muddy goodtimes.

We ran 3.17 miles, through mud, over abandoned cars, wooden barriers, through a mud pit, over a 8 foot hay bail wall, cargo net, hills, fire, and under barbed-wire (to name a few obstacles). As you can see we were covered in mud at the end.

Running has grown to be a hobby Amy and I enjoy doing together and share with a lot of our friends and students here at U of I.

June 2010 Update

Posted 17 Jun 2010 — by nick
Category GCM, Illini Life, Ministry, Photos

Hello friends below you should find our update letter for June 2010.

Download (PDF, 343KB)